Making bread is one of my favorite past-times, but I get stuck in a rut making the same thing. White bread. Wheat bread. Flour tortillas. Corn tortillas. A friend came to visit, so I decided to experiment.
Cheddar Pull Apart Loaf in a Dutch Oven
Cheddar Olive Pull Apart Loaf is based on an old recipe in my favorite bread book from the 1970’s. Easy to make, I baked it in a Dutch oven. The original recipe indicated the bread could be baked in a ring on parchment paper, but the Dutch oven loaf idea seemed so pretty. It turned out beautifully.
If I were to change this recipe at all, I would chop the olives in half, and not mince them. Also, I would add double the cheese for more cheesy goodness. But my friend and I were rearranging the photography studio during the rising time, and the double tasking made me nervous that my experiment would go awry. At the end of the day, all was well…A beautiful studio and a beautiful loaf of bread.
Experiment a little
Baking in a Dutch oven is a great skill to learn in your kitchen so that you can then try it over an open fire when you go camping. I didn’t use the lid when I baked this recipe as I thought the bread would rise too high. You can see that it did. But if you have a deeper Dutch oven than the one I used, try baking with the lid on. If you need to use the lid for outdoor baking, and think the dough will push against the lid, simply grease the lid and place it on the pot during the second rise time right before you bake. Your crusts will be dense, and your friends will be charmed with freshly baked bread.
We did just about everything possible to our Cheddar Olive Pull Apart Loaf during my friend’s visit…we made toast, we made sliders, and ate chunks of it warm with gobs of butter.Print
Cheddar Olive Pull Apart Loaf
- Prep Time: 1 hour 40 min
- Cook Time: 40 min
- Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
- Yield: 16 servings 1x
- Category: Bread
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Continental
6–7 cups unsifted bread flour (750g-875g)
2 tbsp. sugar (25g)
1 tbsp. salt (12g)
2 packages active yeast (14g)
1 3/4 cup milk (420ml) 1/2 cup water (120ml) 3 tbsp. butter (42g)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (115g)
1 cup chopped olives (180g)
Vegetable or olive oil for greasing
Kosher salt for topping
In a large bowl of an electric mixer, combine 2 cups of flour (250g) sugar, salt, and undissolved yeast. Set aside.
Combine the milk, water and butter in a small saucepan and heat until the liquids are 120°F – 130°F (48°C – 54°C). Turn on the mixer so that the mixing blade stirs the flour combination. Slowly add the liquid mixture and stir for 1 minute until well combined. Add 1 cup of flour (125g) along with the olives and cheese. Allow to mix for a minute. Continue to add the remaining flour one cup at a time so that you have a stiff dough. You may not need the full 7 cups (875g).
Switch the mixing paddle of your mixer for the dough kneading hook, and knead for 3 minutes in medium speed, until the dough appears elastic. Add a spoonful of flour occasionally if the dough seems sticky and soft. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place in a clean large mixing bowl that has been greased with vegetable oil. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for about 40 minutes, until the dough has doubled in bulk.
Punch the dough down. Divide into 32 equal pieces and shape into a smooth ball. Line a 5.5qt (5lt) Dutch oven lined with parchment paper, brush the paper lightly with vegetable or olive oil and arrange the dough balls in the pan. Brush the top of the formed loaf with melted butter and sprinkle with kosher salt. Cover again with the towel and allow to rise again until double in bulk, about 45 minutes. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and bake the bread uncovered for 40 minutes. When the bread is done, turn out the bread into a wire cooling rack and allow to cook. Serve warm.
Keywords: Cheddar Olive Bread